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Georgian Ombudsman's New Accusation over November 7

Khatuna Gogorishvili: “Hey, Fans of Subari, Are You Here?”
Sozar Subari, Georgian Public Defender, Office of Ombudsman, had earlier promised to announce sensational information during the presentation of annual report before the Georgian Parliament. He kept his promise, and on December 30, 2008 but the information proved not only sensational but it turned out to be super sensational. He stated that on November 4, 2007 the official had a meeting at the office of Georgian Internal Ministry and how they worked out the plan for dispersing demonstration of several thousand people in front of the parliament building and it was realized three days later on November 7 2007. Many people were physically injured during the dispersal, and some even ended up in hospital.

Not only will details of the use of brutal force will be discussed but also the some of the exact details about the planned dispersal and use of blatant force on demonstrators, as it is now clear that there were several orders issued Vano Merabishvili, Minister of Internal Affairs, and these are also mentioned herein.

Sozar Subari presented his report on December 30 2008 made for the first half of the year. In spite of the gravity of the report, only 20 MPs were sitting in the parliament hall as he started to read a short summary of 600-page report. Among them was Khatuna Gogorishvili, the head of the parliamentary Committee on Procedural Issues and Rules, who called upon her colleagues several times: “Hey, fans of Subari … and are you here?”

Initially her call was a bit low key but than she raised her voice so that even journalists could hear her announcement rather well.
At 4:15 PM, when Public Defender started making the report, the number of MPs increased a little and among them were two women-Khatuna Gogorishvili and Eka Kherkheulidze, MP from the National Party.

Sozar Subari was reading the short summary of his long report for half an hour. He started his speech from the situation about Irakli Okruashvili, former Defense Minister, and his businessman colleague Kibar Khalvashi (the warehouse of the latter’s company was burnt down in what appeared to be a very suspicious situation and consequently he finally he lost his business). The public defender continued making short comments about the oppression during the snap Presidential Elections on January 5, 2008 and Parliamentary Elections that were held on May 21 2008.  He also spoke out about the people who were murdered or disappeared in August of 2008; like Roin Shavadze, a soldier from Adjara Autonomous Republic, as well as Davit Tsindeliani and Paata Kardava.

“Experts concluded that Shavadze was tortured before he was shot to death. Davit Tsindeliani and Paata Kardava are two more people who also disappeared in August.  As the Georgian Ombudsman stated, “I can claim particularly about the first person and how he was arrested by police, and we can only doubt the same fate with the second person; these people disappeared following their detention. The Ministry of Internal Affairs announced that there was a search for these people and they even have this posted this information on their website. The announcement states that a person who will find the missing people will be financially rewarded. However, in this case state acts cynically.”

Georgian Ombudsman also spoke about concrete people who were persecuted on political grounds, included among such people he specifically mentioned Davit Batsikadze, member of the Supreme Council from Batumi and the head of the Adjara branch of the Conservative Party

At hearing the name of Davit Batsikadze, MP Eka Kherkheulidze became furious and proceeded to blame the public defender for spreading false and misleading information. She stated that Davit Batsikadze was her colleague in Supreme Council of Adjara Autonomous Republic and he was never beaten.

Incidentally, nobody reacted to the several scores of facts describing political persecution and acts oppression; the audience and other stakeholders accepted the information merely as news.

In order to find out who was actually lying: Sozar Subari or Eka Kherkheulidze, Presa.ge contacted Davit Batsikadze personally; he is the head of the Adjara branch of the Conservative Party.

Davit Batsikadze: “I was actually attacked early in the morning on January 4, 2008. I was the head of election HQ of Levan Gachechiladze, candidate from the United Opposition during the Snap Presidential Elections. At 5:00 AM, on January 4, 2008 our activists were pasting our posters along Rustaveli Street, in front of Batumi Dramatic Theatre (the Adjara Supreme Council and Levan Varshalomidze’s office, the head of the Adjara Autonomous Republic’s Government are located nearby). I was together with activists protecting them from patrol police who might have forbidden them to fix posters (similar incidents happened quite often). Suddenly electricity was cut off and one mini-bus and several cars rushed to the place; nearly 20 masked people rushed out of the cars and attacked us with truncheons. Although I told them I was MP they replied they were beating me because of their own reason.

The incident continued for several minutes. They even grabbed our political materials and left. As soon as attackers left the area electricity and patrol police arrived to the scene, and before that, patrol police cars were passing along that street every two minutes. One activist, Tengiz Artilava was taken to hospital by ambulance. The media also pick up and distributed this information.”

Sozar Subari spoke about planning huge dispersal on November 4, 2007 at the end of his 30-minute-speech.

Sozar Subari: “On November 4, 2007, on Sunday, at 9:00 pm a meeting was organized in the office of Vano Merabishvili. Many high-ranking officials attended the meeting. I can name only several of them: Vano Merabishvili, Minister of Internal Affairs, Zurab Adeishvili, former Prosecutor Genera, Davit Kezerashvili, former Defense Minister and Data Akhalaia, former head of the Constitutional Security Department (the latter did not occupy any positions at that time). Vano Merabishvili hosted of the meeting, introduced the guests with the tactics to fight against the opposition and demonstrators.

More precisely, they should have drawn up lists of demonstrators and none of them should have remained unbeaten.  He reported to the officials that Constitutional Security Department had already started realization of the plan but they should have increased the scale of dispersal, and even a greater number of people should have been beaten than were.

Demonstrators were to be beaten in the kidneys and abdomen. However in particular cases (he smiled) in the face too. The Minister of Internal Affairs suggested the others to plant narcotics on those demonstrators who looked rather suspicious. As for businessmen who supported the opposition, Davit Kezerashvili was ordered to take care of them.

The minister explained his plans of beating as follows: “active demonstrators will start resisting us more actively, particularly those who arrived from the regions. But in Georgian, a man who has been beaten is disgraced and loses face before others.”

-“Pardon me for using these words but I am citing from minister’s speech. Beating was declared as politics and the complete plan was carried out as planned. This is the reason why demonstrators were beaten before and after November 4, 2007. This fact demonstrates who are criminals and those who designed the policy of beating.”

Public Defender stated that he had information about the plans at 12:00 am and that is why he postponed his visit to Vilnius on November 4.

-“I informed several European diplomats and human rights defenders about the situation. They several times asked me when I intended to announce this information. However, there were several factors that prevented me from spreading this information. One of the main reasons was-how could I appeal to investigation while the people who were in charge of investigation were organizers of the dispersal. These people still occupy high positions in the Georgian government and their ministries are still authorized to conduct investigation,” explained the Public Defender and he requested to set up investigation commission at the parliament.

Sozar Subari: “If similar commission is set up, I will provide them with all information I have to prove that this factually happened. Afterwards I do not think that anybody will doubt the validity of my statement. There is one more important issue that we should take into consideration-the security of the people who attended the meeting. There must be some guarantees ensuring the safety of these people in order to expose all details of the meeting.”

MPs did not express that much anxiety during the hearing when they were exposed to the information about the meeting on November 4, 2007. In fact they accepted it as news. You might ask me what Gia Arsenishvili was doing and he is the chairman of the Parliamentary Committee of Human Rights. Nothing, he did nothing. He was reading newspaper and did not even look up. Khatuna Gogorishvili was smiling cynically. However we could not guess who she was laughing at.
Parliamentary minority, who did not much differ from the majority in their action, urged Subari to present the report and promised that it would be announced. However, the public defender refused them.

Sozar Subari stated that unless parliamentary commission is set up he would take care of announcing the details of the meeting on November 4, 2007.

Source: Presa.ge
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